Dubai: Alex Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United manager, showed his wry sense of humour when he said he was ready to ‘forgive’ Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp for waking him in the middle of the night to inform that he has won the Premier League crown.
Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy on Monday after being named League Managers’ Association (LMA) Manager of the Year for guiding the Merseyside club to their first top-flight title in 30 years.
- Mbappe, Neymar and Thiago fighting fit as Paris St-Germain return to competitive action
- Football: Liverpool players receive English Premier League trophy on Kop
- MLB: Major League Baseball's Opening Day off to a flier
- UFC Fight Night finale in Abu Dhabi: Full results
- Photos: Afghan women assert themselves with martial arts
- English Premier League football transfer gossip: Salah's Liverpool future in doubt
The title was sealed when Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 on a Thursday night in late June, but Klopp clearly waited a few hours before getting in touch with the sometimes gruff Scot.
“I will forgive you for waking me up in the morning at half-past three to tell me you won the league! Thank you,” a jovial Ferguson said in a congratulatory video.
“You really thoroughly deserved it. The performance level of your team was fantastic. Your personality runs right through the whole club. I think it was a marvellous performance.”
Ferguson, who made good his pledge to knock Liverpool off their perch by leading United to 13 titles from 1993 to 2013, enjoys a good relationship with Klopp and once sounded out the German about succeeding him at Old Trafford.
Klopp - who was last year inducted into the LMA’s Hall of Fame and is the reigning Best Fifa men’s coach - follows 2018-19 Manager of the Year Chris Wilder, with Brendan Rodgers the Reds’ previous winner in 2013-14.
“I am absolutely delighted to get this wonderful trophy. It’s really wonderful and I had already the opportunity to have a look who won it before and there are obviously a lot of big, big Liverpool names involved,” Klopp told the official club website.
“Not only Liverpool names but big, big Liverpool names as well. Bill Shankly, I think, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny (Dalglish) - it looks like he’s all over the trophy everywhere! Brendan (Rodgers) won it, well deserved.
“I said it a lot of times, that I’m OK as a manager, but they make me, they make us, a really special bunch of football brains and I love to work with them together. To work together with Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, John Achterberg, Vitor Matos and Jack Robinson - it’s a pleasure,” he added.
The annual Manager of the Year prize, which was inaugurated in its current guise in 1993, is voted for by professional managers and awarded to “the manager who, in their opinion, has made the greatest use of the resources available to them in the current season”.
Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes was named Women’s Super League manager of the year after helping the club to a league and League Cup double.